Wednesday, March 28, 2012

American Idol Season 11: The Top 9 Reveal Their Idols to Us in Top Form

As soon as I saw the song list for tonight, I went crazy because not only did I know it was going to be an awesome show, but the incomparable Stevie Nicks would be mentoring the contestants. What more could they ask for, and what more could we, the viewer, ask for?

01 Colton Dixon sang Everything by Lifehouse-- Steven said, you're a judges dream come true. You sing a song, make it bleed, you have perfect pitch, and star quality. Jennifer said you had so much emotion but you had composure and control, really amazing. Randy said you have believability, I believe every song you sing, every lyric. He even called him a contender for the finale. I have to ditto everything the judges said; there aren't enough good things I can say about Colton. He moved me with this performance.
Score: 5

02 Skylar Laine sang Gunpowder & Lead by Miranda Lambert-- Jen loved her unbridled energy. Steven said it was over the top, like she was talking to a good friend, beautiful. Randy pointed out that not many country singers have her range, other than Carrie. He called her a powerhouse and said good lookin' out. I love Skyler's tenacity, her absolute fearlessness to take on whatever song with tons of conviction. I can totally see her recording a Miranda Lambert-like record.
Score: 5

Trio 1: Colton Dixon, Elise Testone, and Phillip Phillips sang a Stevie Nicks and Fleetwood Mac medley-- Landslide, Edge of Seventeen (Just Like the White Winged Dove), Don't Stop Thinkin' About Tomorrow

03 Heejun Han sang A Song for You by Donny Hathaway-- Steven said Heejun turned it around, you're a natural, your voice is great. Jen said when you sing like that, you move people. Randy said it wasn't perfect, but the Heejun we selected came back to us tonight. This is how I remember Heejun during Hollywood week, his desire was there 100%, and he wanted to win this, for himself, for his family, for the kids he works with. Tonight, that guy came back, and as a Heejun fan, I am so proud.
Score: 4.75

04 Hollie Cavanagh sang Jesus Take the Wheel by Carrie Underwood-- Randy said she did a really good job, but there were some pitchy moments. He received boos from that comment but he then said overall "pretty good job, I was impressed." Jennifer disagreed with Randy and said she felt it was one of her best because of her emotion and how she completely connected with the song. Steven fell somewhere in between saying that he agrees that she had the emotion but that he would have picked a different song that would have more fully showcased her vocal ability. I agree with all the judges, Jen is right, Hollie had a definite connection with this song, and I think it's the first time I have seen that kind of connection and emotion from her, but there were some pitch issues in the performance.
Score: 4.5

05 Deandre Brackensick sang Sometimes I Cry by Eric Benet-- The judges gave him a standing ovation, I should also mention that they gave one to Heejun too. Steven called the performance 100% passion, and said he gave Prince a run for his money. Jen urged people to pick up the phone and vote for him because his performance was so beautiful and went straight to the heart. Randy said he has this great Maxwell- Prince thing and he said not only is Heejun back, but Deandre is back too. I thought there were some moments in that song that absolutely had me breathless. His voice is just undeniably special, I hope and pray people do pick up that phone and vote like Jennifer said.
Score: 5

06 Jessica Sanchez sang Sweet Dreams by Beyonce-- Jennifer loved her poise and maturity and her rendition of the song. Steven said you're a star no matter what. Randy said stars are truly born. You innately have unbelievable talent. Best singer I've heard in many years. Like Colton, you're in it to win it. I loved this version too, I could even see her singing this at her concert as a cover. Her voice is unreal and beautiful.
Score: 5

Trio 2: Deandre Brackensick, Heejun Han, and Joshua Ledet sang a Michael Jackson medley-- Lady in my Life, Rock with You, and P.Y.T.

07 Phillip Phillips sang Still Rainin' by Jonny Lang-- Wow, I think Stevie Nick is in love with Phillip Phillips but aren't we all? Another standing ovation. Jennifer said the music always comes first for Phillip and we can all see it every time he performs. He wants us to feel it too. Steven said the music is in your body and soul and I love it. Randy said I love the artist that you are, it's about being an individual. Phillip brings me into his performance every time he sings, I feel like I am right there with him. I've been thinking about this for the past few weeks, and everyone has compared Phillip to Dave Matthews, and honestly, no offense to Dave, but Dave Matthews who? I say that because Phillip is so his own artist that there should be no comparison. I haven't heard anyone like him.
Score: 5

08 Joshua Ledet sang Without You by Mariah Carey-- Another standing ovation (this is number 4 if you're keeping track). Randy said I love you, I love your voice, that was flawless, emotional, brilliant, Mariah would be proud. Steven said, everyone has pushed beyond their own limits tonight, including you. Jennifer said you are a phenom, an angel from heaven, you're a God send Joshua. Joshua Ledet takes me somewhere special every time he sings. I feel like I go somewhere outside of myself, my emotions fully come to the surface, and this performance, this artist, totally had me from the first note.
Score: 5

Trio 3: Hollie Cavanagh, Skyler Laine, and Jessica Sanchez sang a Madonna medley-- Like a Prayer, Borderline, and Express Yourself

09 Elise Testone sang Whole Lotta Love by Led Zepplin-- Stevie loved Elise and felt she was a kindred spirit and if she needed a singer she would hire her in a second. Steven said Robert Plant would be proud, you pulled it off. Jen said, I didn't want to get up, but you made me get up. Randy said everyone wants to win it tonight, you did an amazing job, congrats. Elise is such a throwback, someone who sings and performs like she is from another time, but I am happy she is from this time. This performance had sass, I loved it.
Score: 5

I have no idea who is going home tomorrow, everyone's guess is as good as mine. I wish no one had to ever again. This group was off the charts tonight.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

American Idol Season 11: The Top 10 Are in a Billy Joel "State of Mind"

Ryan announced that it was Billy Joel night on American Idol and that Diddy would be mentoring the Idols with Tommy Hilfiger giving them style advice.

01 Deandre Brackensick sang Only the Good Die Young-- Steven didn't really make any comments, Jen liked his vibe and though he did a good job. Randy didn't think it was great, but he thought it was okay. I agree with Jennifer Lopez, Deandre mixed his style with Billy Joel's style and I thought it was a sound balance.
Score: 4

02 Erika Van Pelt sang New York State of Mind-- Randy called her one of the best singers this season. He said those who "can do", should. Steven said that she did a beautiful job. Jen also praised not only her singing, but her style. I think Erika had a new found confidence and it was great to see. She is a strong singer, and completely underestimated so far by the American public. I am hoping this new look will be exactly what she needs to earn more votes, sad as that sounds.
Score: 5

03 Joshua Ledet sang She's Got a Way-- Jen praised his singing abilities but said she wanted him to feel more of a connection to the lyrics. Steven said you took a song I didn't know, and you breathed life into it. Randy said both the other judges are right, always grab the lyrics and make them your own. Steven added at the end, can you tell how much we love you Joshua? I actually really liked this because it was almost like a gospel version of She's Got a Way which was pleasant to the ears. Joshua really seemed to be comfortable singing the song in his own style. I understands Jen's point of view for future performances, but the point is a bit moot here because he sounded so good that I cannot imagine him not moving on to next week.
Score: 4.75

04 Skylar Laine sang Shameless-- Jen said, I love your attack, you're fearless, by the end of it, you had the whole audience with you. Steven and Randy both agreed it was a little bit pitchy at the beginning because it was so low. Steven said when she hits the chorus of a song, she sings it with such conviction. Skylar is a fighter, her effort is so evident every week, and I don't think Billy Joel was her jam, but she made the best of it.
Score: 4.5

05 Elise Testone sang Vienna-- The judges gave her a standing ovation. Steven thought the melody was fantastic, said the performance had a lot of heart, and called her beautiful. Jennifer loved her confidence and the personality in the song. Randy loved how she took the song and made it her own, and called her vocals unbelievable. Make no mistake, she had a special moment onstage and she without question, proved tonight, why she is here. I loved it, and I hope everyone realizes her talent this week.

06 Phillip Phillips sang Movin' Out-- Jennifer said you are who you are, awesome performance. Steven said you "Phillip Phillipsed" that performance. Randy said, they told you to take away your guitar, you kept it. They told you not to wear gray, you wore gray. Randy said, keep doing what you're doing, because you actually know who you are. He added that's the best rendition of that song that I've ever heard. I have never heard that song, but to me, it's a Phillip Phillips original. I loved the way he sang the song, and his performance quality, he puts all the superficial aside because he wants the audience to be entertained with his music. To me, that's what a star really is.
Score: 5

07 Hollie Cavanagh sang Honesty-- Steven felt it was a little bit pitchy, like she over sang and over thought it a little bit, but despite that, he still felt she was good. Jen and Randy both made similar comments to Steven reminding her to hit her notes more head on and tune her vocals. I like Hollie a lot, and while this wasn't my favorite Hollie performance she did turn it into a power ballad which did suit her. I agree that maybe she over thought the performance which is why it didn't compare to last week.
Score: 4

08 Heejun Han sang My Life-- Jennifer and Randy both said something similar, the basis of it was, his vocals weren't the best cause he was running all over the stage, but they enjoyed it because it was entertaining and he had fun. Steven echoed the sentiment, but added that he will need to get more serious if he hopes to do better in the competition. I felt Heejun was hurt by the criticism he faced last week, and I think that reflected in his performance this week, he was less serious. I hope people still pick up the phone and vote for him because during Hollywood week I felt something really special in Heejun.
Score: 4.25

09 Jessica Sanchez sang Everybody Has a Dream-- Another standing ovation tonight! Steven said when God was giving out vocal cords, you were at the front of the line; thank you for letting me hear you sing baby! Jen felt the song was made for her. Randy commented on her consistency and said she has a moment every week she steps on the stage, flawless and perfection. My question is, what can Jessica not do, what can she not sing? She is so amazing and so humble about her unique gift.
Score: 5

10 Colton Dixon sang Piano Man-- Jennifer told Colton he sings with pure feeling and Diddy paid him one of the biggest compliments by telling him he would buy that record right now. Steven said your choice of chords to sing was stunning. Randy told him to stay an individual because that's what he loves about him. Colton's performance touched my heart, and I feel that he connected with the song which always comes across to the listener. This was one of my favorite performances of the night.
Score: 5

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

American Idol Season 11: The Top 12 or is it 11?

Ryan Seacrest kicked off the show by announcing that there would be yet another controversy resulting in a disqualified contestant.

Tonight's mentor was Idol fave

01 Phillip Phillips sang Hard to Handle by The Black Crowes (1990)-- Randy complimented Phillip's song choice saying it was a good one for him, very bluesy. Jennifer said it was very natural for him, it's like music is in every cell of his body. Steven said I like how you pick songs that match your voice and your character. I personally loved the song choice, and really loved Phillip's performance, just the way he moved on stage and everything about it.
Score: 5

02 Jessica Sanchez sang Turn the Beat Around by Gloria Estefan (1995)-- Steven loves her voice but warned her not to stray too much from ballads which really fit her voice. Jennifer said, good job but it was not my favorite thing for you. Randy said pick something "more" because you are that good. To me, it wasn't as bad as the judges made it out to be. I think the song was too simple considering the voice Jessica has, also her voice is more legato and that didn't work with such a syncopated song. She's a front runner though who isn't in danger of going home (but everyone vote!).
Score: 4

03 Heejun Han sang Right Here Waiting by Richard Marx (1989)-- Randy thought it was pitchy all over the place. Jennifer said I could tell you were struggling but you were fighting through it and I felt your heart, by the end, it was really beautiful. Steven said you were out of breath, but I still love your voice no matter what; you have a special voice. Heejun does indeed have heart, he makes an effort every time he steps on the stage. He made not have been in his best voice tonight, but his voice is forever special and in the grand scheme that means more.
Score: 4

04 Elise Testone sang Let's Stay Together by Al Green (1983)-- Steven loves Elise's voice as does Jen; Randy proclaimed, Elise is back. He commented particularly on the run at the end and said beautiful, it was butter. I felt the intro to the song was rough, I didn't like how she scooped into some of her notes, but as the song went along it got more and more beautiful, and I understand now why the judges saved Elise last week.
Score: 4.75

05 Deandre Brackensick sang Endless Love by Luther Vandross and Mariah Carey (1994)-- None of the judges liked the song choice and they said Jimmy was wrong for steering him to that song. Jennifer said despite that, you sang it so well. I may be a little prejudiced but I have loved Deandre since last year, and his voice is unique because he can sing really low notes and yet he also has that beautiful falsetto.
Score: 4

06 Shannon Magrane sang One Sweet Day by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men (1995)-- Jen was impressed and thought she did a beautiful job; Steven echoed her sentiment. Randy said he loved the runs she did throughout the song and loves her fearlessness at her young age. I didn't love this as much as the judges did, only because this is one of my favorite songs of all time, and her voice faltered in some spots where she shouldn't have. I do think the last third of the song was amazing, and I did like how it ended.
Score: 4.25

07 Colton Dixon sang Broken Heart by White Lion (1991)-- Jen liked the song and said Colton looks pretty when he sings. Steven disagreed and didn't like the song choice, and felt the song didn't go anywhere. Randy said the song choice didn't matter because Colton is in the zone and consistent every week. I'm torn on this because I feel that because I didn't know the song, I wasn't as engaged. I do like Colton, and I appreciate his musical style and his talent, I just wish the song had been different. That being said, he was in good voice tonight.
Score: 4.25

08 Erika Van Pelt sang Heaven by Bryan Adams (1985)-- Steven loves the song, felt it was too busy, but still likes her voice. Jen said the arrangement left us wanting more, but she liked it, and so did Randy. Randy said he gave it an eight out of ten, but didn't like what Jimmy did with the song. I think this was the perfect song for her voice but I have to say I agree with the judges, the arrangement was a bit much. She said have sang it more straight and just let her voice speak for itself.
Score: 4.75

Jermaine was confronted by Nigel and Ken and came clean about exactly what took place. They said they would have to let him go from the show and that they were sorry because they said hearing him in rehearsal that day was the best that they had ever heard him. After listening to him singing Somewhere Out There it made me sad, because he is talented. I hope people don't look at him and think he lied or he screwed the show. Maybe, just maybe, he knew what he did was wrong, and he couldn't reveal it because then he never would have had the Idol experience. Having that experience may have been what he needed to turn his life around and get things moving in the right direction.

09 Skylar Laine sang Love Sneakin' Up on You by Bonnie Raitt (1994)-- Steven praised her voice and said she hasn't sang badly yet. Jen said, I know you think we're being mean, but if we're not honest, we're doing you a disservice. She then went on to say, "you killed it". Randy said the song choice doesn't matter if you sing it well, and called her their resident country rocker. Skylar is my favorite lady of the night so far, she has so much spunk, it's crazy.
Score: 5

10 Joshua Ledet sang When a Man Loves a Woman by Michael Bolton (1992)-- Steven said Joshua, that was so good, God came through your eyes, it was so beautiful. Randy said phenomenal, incredible on every level, crazy good! Jen said, best thing I have ever seen on American Idol ever. Wow! For me, this was a throwback to Motown and the likes of Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye, David Ruffin, Eddie Kendricks. It was like hearing this song for the first time, and Joshua was slow, took his time, and got it right. Every single note was amazing, and I treasured it, I want to hear this performance again and again.
Score: 5+ (I want to give it more than just a 5)

11 Hollie Cavanagh sang The Power of Love by Celine Dion (1993)-- Jen said, you and Joshua, they saved the best for last, that was beautiful. Steven said, there was a couple of pitchy things, and I don't know where you get your voice, but it's from heaven above. Randy said you blew it out the box, very well done. Hollie is a little powerhouse and this song was a great choice for her. I didn't like how they arranged the song, specifically the words they changed around and took out of the song in order to abbreviate it for the time she was allotted. Unlike last week though, her voice was entirely on point.
Score: 5


Monday, March 12, 2012

The Bachelor Season 16: My Final Thoughts

It seemed inevitable that Ben Flajnik would propose to Courtney. I felt this during many times during the course of the season-- the first time he met her, the way she interacted with the other ladies, when they skinny dipped in Puerto Rico.

The "after the final rose" really annoyed me from the first exchange between Chris and Ben. Ben comes out smiling and acting like everything is just great; act realistic and act according to how things true are. He reveals that he is still in love with Courtney which is surprising because the speculation is that they're broken up. Ben reveals that they broke up for a time when the show was airing because he says things got too tough for them to be together.

Chris addresses the rumors that say Ben has cheated on Courtney, and Ben denies that he ever cheated on Courtney. He says he never has and the photos in the tabloids are photos of him with friends and some are old photos. The audience seems shocked and seems to believe Ben has indeed cheated. I think both of them are so odd that maybe they're a match made in heaven. Chris suggested something quite similar; he must know something after doing the show all these years.

Courtney comes out to a little bit of applause and some boos from the crowd. She feels responsible for the negativity that came from her actions on the show. A lot of the fallout from their relationship took place when the show started to air, Courtney recalls not receiving anything from Ben for Valentine's Day. She says she felt completely abandoned by Ben and as result she has lost trust and feels disappointed in the experience. She says she tried to reach out to Ben and he never got back to her. I actually feel bad for her because Ben mislead her, and he acted like her cheerleader every time we saw him on the show but yet he abandoned her when things started to get rough. If he truly loved her, I feel like he would have stood beside her. Courtney says this is the hardest thing she has been through; I feel like maybe her trying to play out her relationship on television was too hard for her. She is even unsure of the status of their relationship now, which is pretty sad to me, whether you like Courtney or not.

Chris then brings Courtney and Ben together in the third segment and discusses the fact that they both have trust issues. To me, that's not how you want to begin a relationship; Ben, of course, tries to pretend that everything is perfect and that their relationship is great. Wow, he is in denial, big time! Courtney says he should have stood by her and she can't trust him completely again. Ben is adamant that this relationship is going to work but America is basically shaking their heads. Ben apologizes to Courtney in front of everyone saying he should have stuck by her, he should have been there the entire way rather than needing time apart.

Chris plays back the proposal for them to watch; Courtney is clearly emotional, and Ben is a bit emotional too. He says his feelings for her never went away, it's just that everything has been so clouded by all the negativity. Chris had been carrying the ring in his pocket all day, and asks Ben if he can give it back to her, and Ben says he would like her to have it, and that this will end in a wedding after he puts the ring back on her finger. I feel like this is one of the first times Ben has "manned up" all season.

The highlight of this show for me is when Chris brought out Ashley and J.P. who have clearly become a Bachelor super couple along with Trista & Ryan and Molly & Jason. This couple has such amazingly positive energy, and reveals that they are hoping to get married within a year since Ashley has now graduated and has her residency. These are two people who are clearly in love with one another.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

American Idol Season 11: The Top 13 Impress with Stevie Wonder and Whitney Houston Songs

The theme for tonight's show has the gents tackling Stevie Wonder and the ladies honoring the late great Whitney Houston. Mary J. Blige mentored the contestants this week.

01 Joshua Ledet sang I Wish-- Randy said if you feel the beat, you can do anything. Jennifer said she felt the music and the performance. Steven said you listened to Mary J. and you nailed it, nice going! I love the sound of an artist like Joshua, he allows you to feel what he is singing. He believes it, so you believe it also, and not only that, but he takes me to church every time. I loved him singing this upbeat Stevie song and proving his versatility.
Score: 4.75

02 Elise Testone sang I'm Your Baby Tonight-- Jen said it wasn't your best, there were timing issues, you were a little unsure of yourself. Steven said you have to find the character of the song. Randy said it felt like you were boxing with the song; that just wasn't good. I didn't like it either, and I think Randy did the best job of describing how I felt. It sounded awkward, there was no style to the song, and it sounded flat stylistically. I don't like saying this either because Elise is one of my favorite ladies in the competition.
Score: 3

03 Jermaine Jones sang Knocks Me Off My Feet-- Steven said, that song fit you like an Armani suit; I can't wait to see what you have in store for us. Jen said, I want you to connect more with the song and relax. Randy said, I loved the verses, but didn't love the chorus; the sound of your voice is different enough, and I'm glad we brought you back. I am equally happy Jermaine was brought back, and to all the critics who don't like him or think he could enjoy success, I have two words for you: Barry White! The big guy is gonna be around for a while, every one settle down.
Score: 4.5

04 Erika Van Pelt sang I Believe in You and Me-- Randy said you have an amazing voice and unbelievable tone; you can sing anything. Jennifer praised the way Erika interprets songs combined with the tone and fullness of her voice. Steven said the place reacted exactly how it should have when you hit the chorus, it was great. I felt it was a little shaky initially but once she got into the song it was awesome. I especially loved once she got towards the end of the song, the way she built that song up was genius.
Score: 4.75

05 Colton Dixon sang Lately-- Steven said that was outstanding, Jen said you showed your rock style with that song which is why it was so great. Randy said there were parts of it that were shaky (the soft parts) but when you hit the power points, you were flawless. It was like Steven Tyler singing I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing, you turned it into a rock ballad. I loved this! It was the best of the night so far, stylistically, very much who Colton Dixon is. It reminded me a little bit of David Cook.
Score: 5

06 Shannon Magrane sang I Have Nothing-- Jen said, sweet girl, the thinking got the best of you, you needed to relax into it. I appreciated Shannon's effort, but this song was much too big for her, and her nerves completely got the best of her. Steven said, your nerves got the best of you. Randy said, it wasn't good tonight, it sounded like there was a mistake somewhere up front or with the band.
Score: 3

07 Deandre Brackensick sang Master Blaster-- Steven commented on his unique style; Jen liked it a lot and talked about his swagger on the stage. Randy said you have the perfect rhythm and we didn't want it to stop; job well done. A lot of people talked about how Deandre didn't deserve to be there, and I say to them, listen to him tonight, and tell me he doesn't deserve to be there. I am confident they can't.
Score: 4.75

08 Skylar Laine sang Where Do Broken Hearts Go-- Jen called Skylar the definition of composure and said she gave them the moment of the night. Steven called her performance a thing of beauty and said the way she climbed the song was beautiful. Randy felt it was questionable at the beginning, but she got better as she got into the song and into her comfort zone. Skylar was the biggest surprise for me, she impressed me like no one else. I didn't expect her to step up as much as she did.
Score: 5

09 Heejun Han sang All in Love is Fair-- Jen said I love your voice, I loved it from the first time I saw you, and I love it now. Steven said I love your voice, fantastic, something real special about it. Randy said it wasn't perfect, but it was real good. I agree with the judges, there is something so captivating about Heejun's voice when he is on target. I loved it also, he's safe.
Score: 4.9

10 Hollie Cavanagh sang All the Man that I Need-- Randy said she nailed it, and all the judges echoed his sentiment. I'm a little confused because that did not blow me away by any means. I didn't like how she changed the song so much. I didn't like her runs because to me, that didn't have enough power behind them. I was waiting for her to deliver cause I hear Whitney sing that song, and it touches me so much every time.
Score: 4

11 Jeremy Rosado sang Ribbon in the Sky-- Steven said beautiful song, good song choice, and nice passion. Jen said I love to hear the way you interpret songs and that was beautiful. Randy said it wasn't his best performance and that the song needed more swagger. I kind of agree with Randy, but I also agree with Steven and Jen. The song could have used more swag, but the way Jeremy interpreted that song was so gentle and beautiful and I felt his passion. He does interpret songs in such a beautiful way; it's very sincere. I hope America keeps him in because he does have definite talent.
Score: 4.75

12 Jessica Sanchez sang I Will Always Love You-- The judges gave her a standing ovation. Randy called her legit, called the performance the performance of the night, and said she is one of the most talented singers in the country. Jen called it amazing and said she was speechless. Steven said you may be the one, you just made 40 million people cry. I loved everything about this performance, Jessica Sanchez adds soul to every performance and it enriches the performance. I loved the three notes she hit at the end. I loved when she sang, "but above all this, I wish you love," she spaced it out, her phrasing was impeccable. Can I give more than a 5?
Score: 5+

13 Phillip Phillips sang Superstition-- Steven said you just "are". Jen said you interpreted the song, made it your own, and you killed it. Randy said I think we need you in this competition, I love the indie spirit you bring; you drive your own car in your own lane, and I love it. Phillip is such an original, and I completely get what Steven meant when he said, you just are. I look so forward to every time I get to see him perform something new.
Score: 5

I wanted to say how proud I was of Steven Tyler tonight; he was the only judge who answered Ryan's question at the end of the show, and knew what he was talking about. He said he felt Shannon and Elise were in trouble and Jessica was a standout. I think Jen was wrong when she said the girls were stronger, I actually felt the guys were much stronger. Two girls had the night's weakest performances, and that was Shannon and Elise. So tomorrow, I think one of them is going home and unfortunately, it would be rightfully so.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

American Idol Season 11 The Semifinals: The Top 12 Ladies

After watching the ladies last night, I admit that for the first time in a long time, I can say the women are stronger overall than the men.

01 Chelsea Sorrell sang Cowboy Casanova by Carrie Underwood-- Chelsea is one of several female country singers this season and to me, she is probably the weakest. Randy commented on her strong vocals but Jennifer said she felt people didn't get to hear the best of her. Steven urged her to watch her phrasing and timing. Score: 4

02 Erika Van Pelt sang What About Love by Heart-- Steven loved her confidence and the way she hit the high notes. Jennifer said, you're amazing, but claimed that Erika could have pushed a little bit more. Randy came up with the idea of Erika being a singing DJ. I like how Erika owned the performance, she didn't back down at all once she committed to it which was almost immediately. Score: 4.5

03 Jen Hirsh sang One and Only by Adele-- No lie that I loved Jen from her first audition and she was one person I wanted to get all the way through from Hollywood and into The Top Ten, but this was a bit of a letdown for me. Elise Testone closed the show with this same song, and she out-sang Jen. All the judges agreed that Jen is one of the best singers in this competition. Score: 4.25

04 Brielle Von Hugel sang Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding-- Jennifer called Brielle a true performer and proclaimed "amazing"; the other two judges felt similarly. I wasn't sold by a long shot; this was easily the most self indulgent performance of the night. If I may echo Simon from seasons past, how is this song relevant to her life right now? Also, the song started in a key that was much to low for her voice, even if it did eventually get to her sweet spot, it shouldn't have started that uncomfortably. Score: 3

05 Hallie Day sang Feelin' Good by Nina Simone-- Jennifer said, there were some really beautiful moments within that performance. Steven likes her old fashioned voice. Randy asked her what kind of singer she would like to be, and she said she wants to sing everything with "soul". I completely see that, love her sultry voice. Score: 4.75

06 Sklar Laine sang Stay With Me by Faces-- Randy said he loves that song, and commented that they've never had a country rocker on the show before. Jennifer said she had a great performance, and Steven said you were on fire, you were a pistol. Personally, this was one of my favorite performances from both nights. Score: 5

07 Baylie Brown sang Amazed by Lonestar-- Steven and Jen questioned their song choice. Randy said you didn't seize control of the song, good, not great. I agree with Randy, sadly. I love Baylie, but this wasn't good. Score: 4.25

08 Holly Cavanagh sang Reflection by Christina Aguilera-- Steven said it was just beautiful, and Jennifer called her a front runner saying her voice is so strong. The judges all called her once of their favorites. Holly is a little powerhouse but I will be forever wondering where her accent is from. Score: 5

09 Haley Johnson sang Sweet Dreams by The Eurythmics-- I wanted to love that cause I love that song, but that was a mess. Jennifer said it wasn't the best song for her to choose because it's so well known. Randy thought it was a nightmare, and pitchy all over the place. Score: 3

10 Shannon Magrane sang Go Light Your World-- Randy said this girl is hot! Jennifer said she has such passion for a 16 year old. Steven said it started "gospely" and you took it up a notch from there. She has real poise for someone this young, I am officially, wowed. Score: 5

11 Jessica Sanchez sang Love You I Do by Jennifer Hudson-- Randy said she has such swagger, Jennifer said, you're so beyond your years, and Steven said you're timing and pitch is perfect. This was another amazing performance, for me, Jessica is a voice to be reckoned with if she carries on like this. Score: 5

12 Elise Testone sang One and Only by Adele-- I thought this was better than Jen's version and all the judges labeled her as one to watch, and I happen to feel the same; score! Score: 5